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Walgreens preps patients for Hurricane Irene

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — As officials across the East Coast closely monitor the approach of Hurricane Irene, Walgreens on Thursday afternoon released several tips for assuring prescription needs are met for those potentially impacted by the storm.

In the event of evacuation, patients should proceed to a safe location first and refill any medications at the nearest pharmacy. That allows patients to avoid potentially long lines at their local pharmacy, and they won’t needlessly delay any evacuation.

Patients should also pack their current medications in a waterproof bag — even if the bottle is empty. The information on the prescription label will help a pharmacist refill the medicine once they’ve arrived at their destination. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine.

Other suggestions included keeping a written record of current prescriptions with other valuable papers, including information on current dosage and doctor’s contact information. Walgreens patients can register online at Walgreens.com and print out this information directly from their patient profile, the pharmacy operator noted.

Users of Web-enabled cell phones can also register for Walgreens mobile applications to order prescription refills while on the go and locate the nearest pharmacy.

Walgreens also is a member of ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Prescriptions), a secure prescription information network available to pharmacists and doctors during a national emergency. As a member, Walgreens pharmacists can fill prescriptions and access information for hurricane-affected patients even if the patient normally uses another pharmacy.

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Innovation, RxSafe announce distribution partnership

BY Alaric DeArment

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — A new agreement between Innovation and RxSafe allows Innovation to distribute RxSafe’s line of automated, high-density robotic storage and retrieval systems for pharmacies, the two companies said.

Innovation makes the PharmASSIST line of pharmacy automation products, while RxSafe makes the RxSafe and RxVault systems.

"The RxSafe product line perfectly complements our PharmASSIST product suite and enables us to offer our customers the ability to automate up to 100% of their prescription volume," Innovation EVP global business development Doyle Jensen said. "We can now truly scale to the customer’s full range of prescription fulfillment needs and grow with them in all areas."

RxSafe’s technology is designed to automatically and securely store, retrieve and track pharmacy inventory down to the pill or package, handling pharmacy inventory in native packaging.

"Our partnership with Innovation takes full advantage of the considerable talent and technical strengths of both companies," RxSafe CEO William Holmes said. "We are thrilled that Innovation, with its global sales and service outreach, will be distributing our RxSafe product line."

Both companies will share Booth #782 at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Pharmacy & Technology Conference in Boston, which will take place from Aug. 27-30.

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Physical inactivity, Type 2 diabetes linked in new research

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Physical inactivity may play a key role in the development of Type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

John Thyfault, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri’s departments of nutrition and exercise physiology and internal medicine, studied the relationship between low levels of physical activity and elevated levels of postprandial glucose, which refers to the spikes in blood sugar that occur after a meal. PPG, which has been associated with increased incidences of cardiovascular disease and death, also is a risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes. What Thyfault found while monitoring activity levels and diets of healthy and moderately active young adults, was that those people that reduced their physical activity by about half for three days saw their PPG responses to meals double.

"We now have evidence that physical activity is an important part of the daily maintenance of glucose levels," Thyfault said. "Even in the short term, reducing daily activity and ceasing regular exercise causes acute changes in the body associated with diabetes that can occur before weight gain and the development of obesity.

"This study shows that physical activity directly impacts health issues that are preventable," he concluded.

The study is being published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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